On 29 December 2016, the Court of BiH, in case number S1 2 K 018035 15 K, acquitted the party accused of a criminal offense of tax evasion for which it had been charged.
After two years of court procedure and total of 22 hearings, the Court of BiH acquitted the accused party.
The specificity of the conducted criminal procedure is reflected in the fact that the indictment from the beginning had been based on a single piece of evidence and that is the analysis and opinion of the authorized financial expert witness G.M., for which we claimed they had not been made in accordance with the rules of the profession. We proved our claim by submitting a large amount of evidence for the defense, including new analyzes of book and warehouse documents of the accused party we represented in this criminal and legal matter, which finally resulted in acquittal.
We owe a debt of gratitude to our clients for putting their trust in us and for this successfully completed business year. At the same time this obliges us to continuously promote our service in the upcoming year so that we remain in position to meet all the challenges ahead.
On 16 September 2016, Viaduct d.o.o. Portorož, Vladimir Zevnik and Boris Goljevšček filed a Request for arbitration in order to claim compensation for damages caused by violating provisions of the Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments concluded by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Slovenia, and by violating provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty signed by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Slovenia.
On 15 November 2016, International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered the case under number ARB/16/36.
By registering the case we have officially been included in the narrow circle of offices that have received the opportunity to represent clients in ICSID arbitration proceedings.
After the successful formation, we presented Adriala, its members, references and services we provide in detail through the content of the brochure which can be downloaded from our site.
"Adriala Project" is an international cooperation of nine law offices from the region with the aim to improve the way of providing legal services in international transactions. We are pleased that we have, as an office from Bosnia and Herzegovina, participated in this respectable project, and together with our colleagues: Bojanović & Partners Law Office, Belgrade, Serbia; Law Firm Kavčić, Rogl & Bračun, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Law Firm Knezović & Associates, Skopje, Macedonia, Law Firm Madirazza & Partners, Zagreb, Croatia; Prelević Law Firm, Podgorica, Montenegro; Spasov & Bratanov, Lawyers’ Partnership, Sofia, Bulgaria; and, Tascho Pustina – Attorneys, Tirana, Albania; on September 28th, 2016, in Belgrade, agreed on the terms of joint operations.
Viaduct d.o.o. Portorož, as a legal entity headquartered in Republic of Slovenia, Vladimir Zevnik and Boris Goljevšček as natural persons, citizens of Republic of Slovenia, on September 16th, 2016, filed a Request for arbitration, in order to claim compensation for damages caused by violating provisions of the Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments concluded by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Slovenia, and by violating provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty signed by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Slovenia. On November 25th, 2004, investors from Slovenia, through concession company HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka and Government of Republic of Srpska – the grantor, entered into Concession agreement for contruction of hydropower system on Vrbas, which was rescinded on September 25th, 2015 due to non-realization.
Request for arbitration was addressed to International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) which had been established pursuant to Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes („ICSID Convention“) opened for signature in Washigton D.C. on March 18th, 1965.
Through filed arbitration request, investors from Slovenia claim compensation from Bosnia and Herzegovina for the caused damages in the amount of not less than 51,000,000.00 EUR, with the possibility to increase the claim after conducting additional relevant expert analysis for the purposes of the arbitration.
In addition to our law office, investors' interests in the initiated arbitration are also represented by Scrantom Dulles International LLC, attorney Timothy Scrantom, as well as a renowned law firm Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP with headquarters in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. headed by attorney Mark Bravin, who is considered to be one of the world's leading experts in ICSID arbitration proceedings.
In cooperation with Faculty of Law, University of Banja Luka, we have arranged internship in our Law office for a certain number of students of Faculty of Law. The purpose of this internship is to introduce students to the practical aspects of the legal profession, to ensure visits to judicial institutions and etc. We are expecting first students in September.
Following the vacancy advertisement and the subsequent procedure, we have selected our new associates: Stefan Sukara for the office in Banja Luka and Ilma Aljović for the office in Sarajevo.
Once again, we had the pleasure to participate in Banja Luka half-marathon, but this year in the relay race with finnish time of 01:38:15. In the competition of 65 teams we won the high 7th place.
In order to introduce ourselves with the work of Primerus - a global network that brings together more than 200 law firms operating in 40 countries, on April 22, 2016, , as the only office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we attended an event that took place in Paris and was organized by Primerus.
On Friday, April 20, 2016, at the hotel Europe in Sarajevo, an opening cocktail was held to mark the opening of the Consulate of Republic of Cyprus in BiH. This opening cocktail was attended by representatives of diplomatic missions from more than 20 different countries, including the ambassador of EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigemarka. We owe special gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister Mr. Igor Crnadak for supporting the opening of the Consulate. The mission of the consulate in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be to develop bilateral cooperation between Cyprus and BiH, especially in the field of economy and culture. In addition, the Consulate shall provide services to citizens of Cyprus in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as to citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who have personal or professional obligations on Cyprus.
In its decision no. 57 10 St 113366 16 Pž from March 25, 2016, the High commercial court in Banja Luka dismissed as inadmissible the appeal of the appellant HPP on Vrbas a.d. Mrkonjić Grad filed against the Decision of District commercial court in Banja Luka which rejected the Tax Administration’s bankruptcy petition against HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka. This way, the Decision of District commercial court in Banja Luka became final and it was determined that the conditions for the opening of bankruptcy proceedings against the company HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka had not been fulfilled.
Upon request the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Budapest, we are publishing a short article of Spokesman of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, which examines the results of the economic reforms.
Overcoming an unprecedented financial crisis, Cyprus has recovered impressively following a three year period of robust reform, bank restructuring and fiscal consolidation. Following the March 2013 unprecedented decision to use the “bail-in” instrument for the first time as a remedy to the Cyprus banking crisis, very few could had predicted that three years later Cyprus would register economic growth of 1.6%, a nearly balanced budget with a primary surplus of around 2.5%, a steadily reducing public debt, a well-capitalized banking sector and that the country would not be requesting an extension of the support program. In fact, Cyprus is now referred to as a role model of economic reform and consolidation. Key to this success is the fact that Cyprus managed to successfully turn the crisis into an opportunity to effectively address and correct long-term weaknesses, and to re-build a strong economy anchored on solid foundations. This was done not by increasing taxes, but rather by cutting public spending, freezing new hiring in the public sector and rationalizing welfare spending through completely reforming the welfare system. A policy of privatization and licensing encompasses the ports, an integrated casino resort, new marinas, the national lottery and partially the telecoms sector. The banking sector has been transformed through restructuring, resulting in a smaller yet much healthier banking sector, which operates under stricter supervision and oversight. With strong recapitalization, achieved mainly through significant foreign investments, and with new management in most of the Cypriot banks, it is fair to say that the Cypriot banking system has turned the page. Equally significant, if not more so, is the strategic reorientation of the business and financial services sector, which no longer relies on an oversized banking sector, nor on notably high foreign deposits. Notwithstanding the leaps of progress, it is certainly acknowledged that challenges remain, such as high unemployment and non-performing loans. As Cyprus decisively continues to reform and restructure, we are confident that we will overcome the remaining challenges. In the last three years, Cyprus has proven that it has learned from past mistakes, that its economy and its people are resilient, that it has the commitment and the capability to build and sustain a stable economy and to be a credible member of the EU and the euro-zone. The results of this effort have undoubtedly been a product of close cooperation between the Government, political parties, social partners and above all the Cypriot people. This collective effort will continue. The completion of the aid program is therefore not the end of the road for Cyprus but signifies the continuation of our plans, with a strong emphasis on sustainable reforms.
Government Spokesman of the Republic of Cyprus
On March 09, 2015, at Faculty of Economics in Banja Luka, Partner Predrag Baroš, in cooperation with Prof. Saša Petković, PhD, within the subject “Economics and management of small and medium enterprises“, held an open lecture about enterpreneurship and business companies, with reference to the jurisdiction and functioning of judicial institutions in BiH.
We are very proud and pleased to announce that partner and attorney from our office, Nenad Baroš, PhD, has been named an Honorary Consul of The Republic of Cyprus in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The seat of the Honorary Consular Office is in Sarajevo, with consular authority in the area of the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with the provisions of Article 12 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The decision on the appointment (patent letter) was signed, on proposer’s behalf, by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides.
Following the delivery of the exequatur at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, Nenad Baroš pointed out that "being named an Honorary Consul is a great honor and a satisfaction for previous work, for which I am very grateful to the authorities of Cyprus. I will do my best to justify the title of the Honorary Consul, through promotion and development of relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus, especially in the field of investment, science, culture and sports. In addition, bearing in mind that this is currently the only diplomatic mission of Cyprus in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am ready to give assistance to all citizens who have personal or professional obligations on Cyprus, that is, to citizens of Cyprus residing in Bosnia and Herzegovina ".
The issue of transferring claims from the concluded loan agreement with the banks to other individuals and legal entities has been a topical issue in banking and judicial practice. In one of the largest loans placed on the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bank has, following the termination of the loan agreement, transferred the claim arising from the loan agreement in the amount of over 40 million BAM, to another legal entity. On behalf of our client, we filed a lawsuit to the Basic court in Banja Luka for the annulment of the contract on assignment of claim from the bank to another legal entity, along with a proposal for an interim injunction. The Basic court in Banja Luka upheld the interim injunction, and prohibited the new creditor, who meanwhile announced the sale of the assigned claim, to dispose with the assigned claim until the next court decision. We suppose that this is the first interim injunction upheld in the territory of BiH in relations between the bank and the client, arising under the contract on assignment of claim under the loan agreement with the bank onto other legal entities.
Following an article published in the daily newspaper Nezavisne Novine, from January 12, 2016, entitled: “Big investor’s account blocked for years”, on January 14, 2016, another text entitled "Plagiarized hydropower projects on Vrbas" was published containing serious allegations against the company HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka and a series of false allegations.
The text from January 14, 2016 is also a continuation of the campaign that conducted against the company HES Vrbas.
Through described texts, the author undoubtedly takes the side of ZP Hidroelektrane na Vrbasu a.d. Mrkonjić Grad, whose interest are opposed to interests of company HES Vrbas.
We hereby want to remind that Hidroelektrane na Vrbasu a.d. Mrkonjić Grad was awarded the concession for construction of Small hydroelectric power plant (“SHPP”) Bočac 2 and when concluding the concession agreement with RS Government, they undertook to pay all potential damaging consequences which may occur to the company HES Vrbas because of the concession for construction of SHPP Bočac 2, which prevents the implementation of a concession which is awarded to the company HES Vrbas.
According to content from the official web presentation of Hidroelektrane na Vrbasu a.d. Mrkonjić Grad, Mr. g-din Željko Kopanja, director of Nezavisne novine, acts as a member of the Supervisory board of Hidroelektrane na Vrbasu a.d. Mrkonjić Grad, which gives rise to suspect that the Nezavisne Novine are solely used as a tool for advertising allegations of Hidroelektrana na Vrbasu a.d. Mrkonjić Grad, directed against the company HES Vrbas.
Such conduct of Nezavisne novine is contrary to the Press code, since journalists are supposed to hear and present all parties in a dispute, while the party facing charges should certainly be entitled to a response.
Described principles are not respected in this particular case, because if the representatives of the company HES Vrbas had been questioned regarding the allegations presented by the content of published articles, we guarantee that their publication would not have happened. Such behavior undermines the dignity of the Nezavisne novine and is certainly not directed to protect the ethical principles and professional integrity of journalism.
By Decision of the no. 57 0 St 113366 15 St 2 from December 29, 2015, District commercial court in Banja Luka rejected for the second time the motion of the petitioner Tax administration of Republic of Srpska for opening bankruptcy proceedings against the company HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka.
After additional expert analysis and additional reports by the bankruptcy trustee, the Court found that the conditions for the opening of bankruptcy proceedings against the company HES Vrbas had not been fulfilled, that is, that there is no insolvency of this company since its accounts are active and may be used for undisturbed payment operations.
The described Decision of the District commercial court in Banja Luka eliminated the last obstacle for initiating arbitration proceedings before the Geneva arbitration Court regarding the termination of the Concession agreement, which was concluded between the Government of the Republic of Srpska as the Grantor and the company HES Vrbas as the Concessionaire.
Basic court in Banja Luka has rendered presumably the first judgment which bound NLB Razvojna banka a.d. Banja Luka to pay a certain amount of money in the name of the unjust enrichment which arose from erroneous calculation of EURIBOR, which does not comply with the market value of EURIBOR.
The Court determined that the Bank had, contrary to the provisions of concluded Agreement on the long-term loan, carried out the calculation of interest at the expense of the loan beneficiary, by not reducing the reference interest rate Euribor, although it had been obliged to do in accordance with provisions of concluded Agreement on the long-term loan, and pursuant thereto the Bank is bound to pay amount of money which resulted from erroneous calculation of the agreed interest rate.
In the coming year we will be your service that you can always rely on with full confidence.
In the pleasant atmosphere of Jungić Winery we celebrated 5 years of our law office, in the company of our associates, partners and friends. We used this opportunity to present the software solution that we have implemented in the system of work of the office, which makes us fully open and transparent in dealing with our clients.
Predrag and Nenad Baroš attended one-day panel discussion on improving the efficiency of the arbitration proceedings, which took place at the Westin Hotel, Zagreb.
Official Press release of Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining of Republic of Srpska, no. 05.01/Sl-146/15 from October 16, 2010, addressed to all media reads as follows:
"Government of Republic of Srpska has not received an official damage claim from the concessionaire “HES Vrbas“ or its legal representative, which is logical since the Concession agreement for construction of Hydropower system on Vrbas has standardized provisions on termination thereof in cases of grantor's or concessionaire's fault. It is important to note that conditions for terminations are very complicated and time-consuming, and the termination itself is finalized within arbitration proceedings stipulated by the agreement. We are therefore surprised by actions of this concessionaire which says enough about the reliability and respectability of the same."
As legal representatives of the company HES Vrbas we do not have the intention to conduct a media debate on the termination of the Concession agreement and merits of the claim of the company HES Vrbas. We especially do not want to have this type of debate with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, however, the press release sent by this Ministry contains allegations that are imposed completely arbitrarily, lacking any sort of legal basis, and for this reason we have the need to respond with arguments to the content of such allegations.
It is true that concluded Concession agreement stipulates the procedure for termination of the agreement, as it is true that HES Vrbas entirely complied with the agreed procedure. The initiative of the Concessionaire HES Vrbas expressed through numerous letters has not resulted in holding a meeting with representatives of the Grantor in order to reach amicable settlement, pursuant to article 23.2. of the Concession agreement.
The letter which HES Vrbas addressed to the Grantor on May 23, 2015, requesting the formation of the Independent Commission of Experts, which also represents the final step prior to the initiation of arbitration proceedings, has never been responded to. Precisely for this reason, HES Vrbas submitted to the Grantor a Notice of termination of the Concession agreement, which is also completely in compliance with article 19.3. of the Concession agreement.
Given the aforementioned, we do not understand the surprise of the competent Ministry by, as alleged, “actions of this concessionaire“, because the company HES Vrbas indeed completely complied with all agreed procedures that preceded the submission of the Notice on termination of the Concession agreement.
On October 16, 2015, at 12 o’ clock, our Law office held a Press conference regarding the termination of the Concession agreement for construction of hydroelectric power plants on Vrbas. Damaging consequences caused to the Concessionaire HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka were shown at the held conference in the amount of BAM 46.051.631,16, and the damage claim for Government of Republic of Srpska has been announced.
The conference noted legal consequences caused to the company HES Vrbas by granting the concession for construction of SHPP Bočac 2, as well as attempts of Tax administration of RS to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against the company HES Vrbas, despite the fact that Tax administration of RS does not have a legal interest in such conduct.
The conference was attended by a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in BiH, Mr. Marjan Ristić, as well as a great number of media, and we would like to use this opportunity to thank them.
On September 30, 2015, at International University of Sarajevo, in Sarajevo, Gilliani International d.o.o. Bosnia organized a Bosnia StartUp Cup www.bosnia.startupcup.com, where partner of our law office, Nenad Baroš and Feđa Bičakčić actively participated as a mentor (Nenad) and a judge (Feđa). Bosnia Startup Cup is an excellent opportunity for all those who have a good business idea, to present it, and if it is proven to be the most innovative idea, they may win a prize for financing the startup of their own business.
Partners BB Legal-Sarajevo have participated in choosing 12 best participants, and during organized workshops, they have provided participants the assistance and advice necessary for the implementation of their business ideas. Our partners used these all day activities at mentioned meetings to meet new interesting young people with very interesting business ideas.
on November 25th, 2004, Republic of Srpska, Government of Republic of Srpska as Grantor and HES Vrbas a.d. Krupa na Vrbasu bb, as Concessionaire, entered into a Concession agreement for construction of two hydroelectric power plants on Vrbas: HPP Krupa with 48,5 MW and HPP Banja Luka – niska of 37,2 MW installed capacity. After many years of negotiations and numerous undertaken activities, the implementation of the said agreement and the construction of planned hydroelectric power plants still has not occurred. The concluded Concession agreement was in force until September 25th, 2015, when HES Vrbas a.d. Banja Luka sent a statement on termination of the concluded Concession agreement.
Investors from Slovenia have given full faith and credit for representation to our law office. Due to its great importance, the award of this concession got a lot of media coverage, so we will inform the public of Republic of Srpska on forthcoming activities in more detail.
By entering into force, the new Labour law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has brought new obligations for employers, which are bound to adjust the existing regulations, contracts and other documents to the provisions of the new Labour law. You can find out about the new regulations in our newsletter.
Law office Baroš & Bičakčić, through great efforts of Partner Feđa Bičakčić, successfully completed the transaction of purchasing the dairy Milgor d.o.o. Goražde. Due to intensive work of our office, and despite numerous hurdles that had been complicating the implementation of this project, the Milgor dairy was officially opened on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015, after 8 years of production suspension. It was our pleasure to attend the opening ceremony, in the company of investors from United States, representatives of the company Gillani International and the new owner of the dairy Mr. Sayed Kamal.
In addition to numerous business activities, we used the most attended film festival in the region as our moments of respite, meeting with clients and new business contacts. This year, SFF was very well organized, numerous guests and invitees with their presence contributed to the good atmosphere of the festival.
On August 1, 2015 , Office in Sarajevo started to work under the name Baroš & Bičakčić. After the adaptation of office premises, partners Nenad Baroš PhD, Feđa Bičakčić and associate Adna Krešo, are available on daily basis to distinguished clients for all legal issues and dilemmas in the ordinary course of business.
Law office Baroš has entered into partnership agreement with Feđa Bičakčić, attorney from Sarajevo. The Office shall provide legal services on territory of Federation of BIH under the name Baroš & Bičakčić. Bičakčić’s extensive experience, and his dedication and commitment to the lawyer's profession, shall certainly contribute to the creation of a recognizable legal service on the territory of Federation of BIH.
The world's leading search engines for providers of legal services have ranked AK Baroš exceptionally high amongst providers of legal services in BIH territory. Although we have been operating for a rather short period of time, this year LO Baroš found its place in the rankings: Chambers & Partners and IFLR 1000. Being ranked on the lists of the above described search engines involved a preceding market research, contacting a large number of clients and assigning the appropriate position according to the data collected. This good result is also demonstrated by the fact that we are one of two domestic law offices from Republic of Srpska which have found their place in the mentioned rankings, and we are also included amongst 7 leading law offices, including the foreign offices operating in the BIH territory. We are pleased to have our efforts and commitments aiming at creating a recognizable legal service validate in appropriate manner. We are sure that the work of our office in Sarajevo will contribute to even better results in the forthcoming period.
The issuer of local labels UNFC-R-A passed a decision on disposal with property of high-value, after which a number of minority shareholders exercised the right to compulsory purchase of their shares. Given that shareholders had not been satisfied with the amount of the purchasing price, they initiated court proceedings in order to protect their rights. During the court proceedings the issuer was ordered to, instead of paying the shareholders amount of BAM 0.1696 per share, pay the shareholders a price of 1.0367 per share. The abovementioned proceedings, where we had represented a group of minority shareholders, represent one of the first legally binding completed proceedings in the Republic of Srpska, where shareholders are entitled to adequate legal protection in the procedure of compulsory purchase of shares.
According to the adopted attitude of the Public procurement body of BIH, the term „tightly bound offer“ stands for an offer which is bound in a book or bound in any other way, but with the additional red tape, whose aim is to prevent the offer sheets from being easily removed or amended, without compromising the integrity of the offer. However, it sometimes happens that the contracting authority, while preparing tender documentation, fails to define the term „tightly bound offer“ clearly and leaves its interpretation to the will of bidders. In one of the implemented procedures of public procurement, the contracting authority prescribed through the tender documentation as follows: „All offer sheets must have marked (numbered) pages and be tightly bound, i.e. bound in a way that the content (sheets) of the offer cannot be easily removed or amended, without compromising the integrity of the offer“. One of the bidders submitted his offer bound by a plastic spiral binding, believing that it prevents easy removing and amending of the content of the offer. Contracting authority did not take the mentioned offer into consideration believing that the bidder did not bound the offer in a way which prevents easy removing and amending of the content of the offer. Acting upon the appeal we filed on behalf of the bidder whose offer had not been taken into consideration, Public procurement body of BIH issued a Decision no. UP2-01-07.1-997-8/14 from December 10 2014, by which it adopted the appeal and annulled the controversial acts of the contracting authority, on the grounds that it is necessary that the contracting authority precisely defines the term "tightly bound offer“. To avoid any confusion, the contracting authority, through the content of the tender documentation, should have to emphasize that the offer is tightly bound if it is bound in a book or bound in any other way but with additional red tape.
Predrag Baroš as a representative of Baros Law Office took participation in Swiss Franc panel discussion, organized by network Taxlinked.net, together with:
- Anastasia Sokolovich from Eltoma Corporate Services in the Russian Federation
- Costas Katsaros of Emilianides Katsaros LLC in Cyprus
- Teresa Taylor from Akrivis Law Group, PLLC, in the USA Predrag presented various problems caused by Swiss Franc loan products in Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointed out many harmful consequences of this loan products and introduced participants with specific attitudes of court practices.
Latest amendments to the Law on Enforcement Procedure (“Official Gazette RS“ no. 98/14) appropriately corrected article 166. in a manner that enforcement in order to collect monetary claims from budget of Republic of Srpska, cities and municipalities, is carried out up to the amount on the position of the budget which is intended for that purpose, in accordance with the regulations on adoption and execution of the budget of Republic of Srpska, cities and municipalities, noting that in the budget of Republic of Srpska, cities and municipalities each fiscal year the funds necessary for the execution of final court decisions and other enforceable titles are ensured. After a certain time passed, legislative amendments have caused impossibility of performance and debt collection in a number of court enforcement procedures, initiated against the municipality as defendants, because the necessary funds for debt collection were not defined by the adopted budget.The adopted legislative amendments, without any doubt, place Republic of Srpska and units of local administration in a privileged position in relation to their creditors and citizens, and raise the question of their constitutionality. Such legal amendments lead to legal uncertainty and make explicit that claims from the budget of the Republic, cities and municipalities, cannot be carried out easily, which certainly does not represent a way to attract foreign investment.
On March 11, 2015, at Faculty of Economics in Banja Luka, in cooperation with Saša Petković, PhD, Partner Predrag Baroš held an open lecture on entrepreneurship, and business companies, taking into consideration the practical aspects of performing business activities.
On March 1st, 2015, partner Nenad Baroš was registered in Register of Attorneys of the Bar Association of Federation of BIH, with law office headquarters in Sarajevo, 28 Maršala Tita. In order to successfully follow the businesses of our clients headquartered or with branch offices in Republic of Srpska, also in the territory of Federation of BIH, and to provide the clients from the Federation of BIH the appropriate legal service on the territory of Republic of Srpska, we have opened the office in Sarajevo. After its opening, we shall strive to affirm our legal services so that they become recognizable in the territory of the Federation BIH.
In order to present to our clients our services and our system of work in the best possible way, in cooperation with the marketing agency MANIA we have created a new website, which has a very good way of presenting our results and provides many information about our daily activities. We hope you share our opinion and that this modernly designed website will enable the easier way to get to the information you need.
Partner Nenad Baroš Phd and associate Todor Duvnjak attended a seminar held on 12th and 13th February 2015, in Sarajevo, organized by Council of Europe, on the subject of the European Convention on Human Rights, fundamental freedoms and the conditions of admissibility before European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The seminar brought together a large number of lawyers. Lecturers at the seminar have presented the admissibility criteria of appeals or petitions from the theoretical aspect, as well as their practical path from the moment of delivery to the Constitutional Court of BiH, or the European Court of Human Rights, to the decision. Acquired theoretical and practical knowledge will certainly be useful to us when carrying out activities of advising our clients but also of making appeals and petitions in order to protect the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and fundamental freedoms of and the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Privredna štampa LLC Sarajevo has published Predrag Baroš’s monograph, entitled Notary, real estate and business companies. Commencement of work of the first notaries and the way in which legislators in BIH arranged their jurisdiction, has raised numerous questions to which the author strives to offer adequate answers. However, the author devotes the greatest attention to the role of notary in companies law, and the significance of the topic is prominent because this topic did not exist in a monograph form in domestic law. Release can be ordered on the publisher’s website (Privredna štampa LLC Sarajevo) at a price of BAM 50,00.
Partner Predrag Baroš had the honor to attend, as one of three delegates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the conference held in Cyprus from December 02-06 entitled Swiss Franc Loans Conference. The said conference was held regarding the problem caused by loan product with CHF currency clause, upon the initiative and in organization of really amazing Katherin Alexander PhD, a lawyer who operates in England and in Cyprus, famous for numerous humanitarian actions and as a great fighter for human rights.
Lawyers from numerous European countries have united in battle against harmful consequences of CHF currency clause, and the conferences resulted in the establishment of European legal board for consumers’ rights, with headquarters in London and an aim to undertake many activities in the following period in order to provide necessary legal assistance to loan users who are significantly endangered by CHF loan products.
Partner Nenad Baroš had the honor to attend the international scientific conference entitled: “7th International Scientific Conference on Economic and Social Development” (ESD 2014) , which was held in New York from October 23 to October 25, 2014.
The paper was presented at the conference, published for the purpose of the conference by representatives of Faculty of Economics in Banja Luka: Darko Milunovićand Nenad Baroš, entitled:“Statistical analysis of significance of tourism for the economy of a country, with special emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans“.
Visit to New York, among other things, was used to hold business meetings with potential business partners, as well as for visiting Columbia University, one of the best organized universities in US.
Predrag Baros, partner, was in London from 16-31 of August, and on that occasion he held several meetings with representatives of international law firms with a long tradition: Speechly Bircham and Ronald Fletcher Baker.
We will direct this positive experience from London towards additional improvement of our legal service and research of a new branch of law.
Predrag Baros, Nenad Baros and Darko Milunović, attended the 6th international scientific conference titled: Economic and Social Development, which was held in Vienna from 24th until 25th of April 2014, at the premises of majestic hotel Sofitel.
At the conference, among other things, the capital market was discussed, with regard to the article which was, for the purposes of the conference, released by Nenad Baros and Darko Milunović as representatives of the Faculty of Economics of Banja Luka, and titled: How to make capital market a safer for investments.
We are glad that we have, with our presence and participation in enjoyable discussions, contributed to this very interesting and very well organized conference.
By Decision of the Republic Commission for determining conflict of interest in government bodies (“Republic Commission”), No. 02-1701-S/13-13, O.S., from September 7th, 2013 it has been determined that the alderman of Municipal Assembly of Modrica is in a conflict of interest, and that he has also, while carrying out the function of an alderman, carried out other functions in respect of which there is a conflict of interest, which is contrary to Article 8, Law on prevention of conflict of interest in government bodies of Republic of Srpska („Official Gazette RS“ br. 73/08).
M.P., represented by Law office BAROS, filed an appeal to the aforementioned Decision, which has been adopted by the Appeal Commission of Republic of Srpska, and the Appeal Commission of Republic of Srpska has, by the Decision No. Z-01-114/13 from November 29th 2013, annulled the contested decision. Subsequently, in the new procedure it has been determined that the alderman of Municipal Assembly of Modrica M.P. is not in a conflict of interest.
The Alderman M.P. expressed his satisfaction with the manner of representation and provision of attorney services.
In August 2013, the company Elektroinzenjering LLC, with its headquarters in Banja Luka (hereinafter referred to as the Company), was established by several investors from the Russian Federation. The Company has, after establishment, participated in an oral public auction, in the enforcemend proceedings held before primary court in Sokolac, for purchasing real estate owned by the company Energoinvest-Rasklopna oprema PLC Istocno Sarajevo. In the auction, the Company is declared to be the highest bidder, and has, after the payment of BAM 7.65 million for the purchase price and the handover, entered in to possession of the purchased property.
The entire procedure of establishment which includes gathering of the necessery documentation, legal counseling regarding the establishment of companies, drafting the establishment act, bilingual formulation of necessary documents, entry in the court register and registration of the establishment of the Company before the competent authorities, as well as the transfer of shares after the establishment of the Company, have been succesfully completed through the BAROS law office.
Our law office represented theCompany in the oralpublic auction and during the handover proceedings of the purchasedreal estate. The process of registering the propertyin possessionof the Companybefore the competentauthoritiesfor therecordsof land registry rights to the property, was also successfullycompleted through the BAROS Law Office.
Successful completion of the previously described procedures required our full engagement, and we have, among other things, participated in negotiations with investors which took place in the Russian Federation (Moscow). We issued appropriate guarantees at the investor’s request and we can proudly say that we have fulfilled all the investors requirements that have been set to us as a task!
Law office BAROS (hereinafter reffered to as the Employer) announces a contest for recruiting one employee on probation period for up to six (6) months for the position of graduate lawyers / associates.
As for the professional skills, the employee must have a law degree and an advanced knowledge of English.
Previously gained work experience in the profession is preferable.
The Employer shall, after deadline for submitting applications, invite to an interview a certain number of candidates.
Candidates can send Curriculum vitae (CV) with a photo via mail to 16 Nikola Pasic, 78 000 Banja Luka or via e-mail address predrag.baros @ advokatbaros.com within 8 days of the date of this announcement.
It is mandatory to specify in CV the grade point average at the undergraduate level.
Date of announcing the Contest: December 11, 2013
To improve the way of providing legal services, increase timeliness and improve working conditions, to our respected clients we wish to send notice that we have changed the registered address of our law office, which from September 02, 2013, is located at: Nikola Pasic 16, 78 000 Banja Luka, in a facility that is designed to meet the needs of the law firm.
We will be happy for you to visit us at our new location.
In the recent amendments to the Company Law, which were published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, no. 67/13 of August 08, 2013, the legislation has allowed the establishment of the single member limited liability company with a minimum share capital of BAM 1.00.
The legislator has also simplified the legal form required for the establishment of the single member limited liability company with the minimum statutory cash investment, whose establishment act, along with its amendments, are not subject to the notary process and confirmation. It is sufficient to notarise the signature of the founder in the establishment act, and the amendments thereto, which reduces the cost of the establishment procedure.
The adopted legislation promotes the principle of party autonomy, so that the future founders of single member limited liability companies with minimum statutory share capital, will be able to chose a lawyer of their choice or another legal services provider, for the purpose of drafting the establishment act, as it no longer has to exclusively be a notary.
On December 18, 2012, at around 12:45 am, on the highway A3 Bregana - Zagreb – Lipovac, a highway section Popovaca - Kutina (Croatia), a traffic accident occurred when a MAN bus, carrying students from the Republic of Srpska, skidded off the road into a drainage channel, where it overturned on its right side.
The described event injured 33 passengers on the bus. Injured parties, represented by the BAROS Law Office, were the first to collect payment of damages in the proceedings before Euroherc Ltd. Sarajevo that was the bus’ insurer.
The presented case is an exception to the "lex loci delicti commissi" rule, given that a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) with a motor vehicle (bus) registered in BIH, caused damage to BIH citizens abroad. In this case it is allowed to pursue claims in BIH (not only where accident took place) according to the regulations on compulsory insurance.
On November 28 2012, the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: CEC) awarded a representative mandate in the Assembly of Banja Luka (CEC Decision no. 06-1-07-1-1472/12 of November 28, 2012) to Ranko Baros, as the next qualified candidate from the People's Democratic Party list. That decision was appealed against. The Court of BIH approved the appeal, revoked the CEC decision and remitted the case for a complete fact-finding (Decision of the Court of BiH no. S1 3 Iz 012003 12 Iz of December 10, 2012).
After the fact-finding was completed, the CEC in its decision of January 09 2013 (CEC Decision no. 06-1-07-1-1472/12 of January 09, 2013) awarded a representative mandate to Sava Ozegovic Marceta, instead of Ranko Baros. Ranko Baros, represented by the BAROS Law Office, appealed against that decision. The Court of BIH approved the appeal, pointed out a number of irregularities in the proceedings before the CEC, revoked the CEC decision and remitted the case with clear instructions to award a representative mandate to Ranko Baros (Decision of the Court of BiH no. S1 3 Iz 012282 13 Iz of January 28, 2013).
Acting on the Decision of the Court of BIH, the CEC in new proceedings, awarded the mandate to Ranko Baros (CEC Decision no. 06-1-07-1-1472/12 of February 19, 2013). That decision was upheld by the Court of BIH (Decision of the Court of BiH no. S1 3 Iz 012626 13 Iz of March 26, 2013). The decision to award a representative mandate to Ranko Baros became final and legally valid, and another case successfully completed by the BAROS Law Office.
Law Office BAROS has successfully participated in the organizing an auction for package of shares of an investment fund. This has been the biggest auction for a package of shares at the Banja Luka Stock Exchange so far.
The auction for package of shares for issuer Kristal invest fond a.d. Banja Luka (hereinafter: the Auction) was attended by over 80 natural persons and legal entities, primarily from Slovenia and Croatia, with a certain number of participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The offered package of shares contained over 10% of total number of the Kristal invest fond a.d. Banja Luka shares. Total value at the bid price was a little less than BAM 4.000.000.00.
The Law Office BAROS provided full legal support for the participants, drafted all necessary documents and coordinated between the auction organizer, stock exchange intermediary (broker) and the Banja Luka Stock Exchange.
J.S. filed a lawsuit against the D. Ltd. claiming non-pecuniary damages for suffered mental anguish due to defamation in the amount of BAM 15,000, and BAM 5,000 for suffered fear.
As factual grounds for the lawsuit, the plaintiff stated that on April 14 2008 she bought some goods in the defendant’s department store, the defendant’s employee didn’t demagnetize purchased goods at the register, or the employee failed to remove the "beepers", which caused the alarm to go off when the plaintiff tried to leave the store, after that the defendant’s security guards took the plaintiff bags with the purchased goods away from her, held her thinking that she committed the theft and insulted her numerous times.
During court proceedings an expert testimony by a neuropsychiatrist was conducted, and was determined that as a result of the April 14 2008 incident, the plaintiff developed the post-traumatic stress disorder and that the plaintiff suffered severe (three days), intermediate (three months) and low intensity emotional distress (which was evident for a full year), as well as fear of a very severe (a few minutes), intermediate (several hours), and low intensity (several days).
During the court proceedings the defendant, represented by the BAROŠ Law Office, pointed out all the deficiencies of the expert witness opinion, which was fully contested, just like the testimony of the plaintiff and witnesses. All that resulted in the adoption of the decision of the Primary Court in Banja Luka, no. 71 0 P 032 551 P 08 of June 15 2012, where the plaintiff’s claim was rejected in full as unfounded, with the obligation of the plaintiff to compensate the litigation costs caused to the defendant. The first instance decision was upheld by the decision of the District Court in Banja Luka, no. 71 0 032 551 12 P Gz, which put an end to, in our practice, one unusual claim!
The BAROŠ Law Office, ordered by bidder, successfully completed the Veterinarska stanica Plc. Kneževo takeover. With the takeover conducted, the bidder acquired a total of 90.365680% of the voting shares, from the total number of shares issued.
As the acquisition of the above mentioned number of shares met the legal requirements to initiate the compulsory redemption of all shares by the controlling shareholder, the acquisition of shares of dissenting shareholders was also completed successfully, resulting in the acquisition of all the voting shares by the controlling shareholder.
The BAROŠ Law Office has provided full legal support in mentioned proceedings, that consisted of organizing general shareholders’ meeting, obtaining necessary approvals, drafting all necessary documents, and registering the changes before the competent institutions (District Commercial Court in Banja Luka, Central Registry of Securities Plc. Banja Luka, the Republic of Srpska Securities Commission).
The Government of the Republic of Srpska, as the founder and sole member, adopted the decision on the establishment of the public company, Limited liability Company for manufacturing, services, research and development Nikola Tesla Ltd. Banja Luka. The Company was established with the purpose to manage investment projects of common interest for the Republic of Srpska.
was successfully completed in a very short time, by the BAROŠ Law Office!
After committing a severe violation of employee’s duty and causing damage to the employer „RSA Gaming“ Ltd. Banja Luka by unlawful appropriation of money from the cash register, which he used for gambling, employee K.N. was removed from job and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him. The Baros law office coordinated the initiated disciplinary proceedings that were unique in many ways, since the employee has been admitted to the psychiatric clinic in Banja Luka for treatment the same day he committed the violation (November 08, 2012), where he was treated until December 03, 2012. The employee K.N. attended the disciplinary hearing on December 20, 2012 and stated that he was not able to follow the course of the hearing due to the status of his mental health. After the given statement, he left the hearing which was then held in his absence. The employee K.N. was found guilty for the violation of employee’s duty and, as a result of a disciplinary measure, his employment was terminated (Decision on imposing disciplinary measures of December 27, 2012.)
Dissatisfied with the Decision, K.N., represented by a lawyer from Banja Luka Z.B., filed a lawsuit for the protection of employee’s rights with the Basic Court in Banja Luka. Defendant „RSA Gaming“ Ltd. Banja Luka, represented by the Baros law office, presented all the necessary evidence, including a neuropsychiatric expert witness’ opinion, that concluded that K.N. was able to follow the course of the disciplinary hearing. The expert witness also found that K.N. was able to know right from wrong at the time of the violation. After the defendant submitted this evidence, the plaintiff withdrew the lawsuit (Basic Court in Banja Luka, Decision no. 71 0 115 626 P 11 P of July 20, 2012).
In the car accident that took place on December 1, 2010 on the overpass near the Meridian customs terminal in Ilija Garasanin Street, Banja Luka, G.D. who was the Peugeot 306 driver, suffered severe and life-threatening injuries. G.D. represented by the Baros law office sent a compensation claim to the Brcko Gas Insurance Inc. Brcko. After the payment for the indisputably established amount of damage was made, a compensation lawsuit was filed with the Primary Court of the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 26, 2011. Upon the completion of the trial and based on testimonies provided by the expert medical witnesses, the Primary Court of the Brcko District in its ruling no. 96 0 035 018 P 11 P of May 29, 2012 awarded to the plaintiff - the injured party G.D., whose overall health status decreased by 50% due to the car accident based on non-pecuniary damages, the total amount (with the previous payments made in extra-judicial proceedings) of 44,303.87 BAM, together with 410 BAM for lost earnings and 205 BAM per month for compensation from the reduction in earnings. Upon calculating the capitalized amount of the compensation in the amount of 36,040.20 BAM the litigants agreed that Brcko Gas Insurance, without the right to appeal, will pay the plaintiff G.D. represented by the Baros law office the total amount of 83,078.87 BAM, which occurred in early August of the 2012. So, the collection of all the claims for the injured party was made within one year from the date of filing the lawsuit, and, considering the length of judicial proceedings in BiH and the legal practice regarding the amount of non-pecuniary damage, we can safely conclude that the above proceedings have been successfully completed!
The world's leading manufacturer of smart cards and permanent personal documents Mühlbauer ID Services GmbH, owned by Mühlbauer AG, headquartered in Germany at Josef Mühlbauer-Platz 1, 93426 Roding, in cooperation with local co-operator Nites Ltd. Banja Luka, headquartered in Banja Luka at Jovana Ducica 25, have founded Muehlbauer Ltd. Banja Luka.
was successfully completed in a very short time, by the BAROŠ Law Office!
A lawyer, Predrag Baroš LL.M. who represented Đ.G. from Banja Luka as a proxy before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, successfully completed a case against Bosnia and Herzegovina for the compensation of war damages.
Pursuant to the final court decision, Đ. G. claimed from the Republic of Srpska the amount of BAM 7.000,00, based on intangible damages caused by war. However, the Republic of Srpska and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Srpska, pursuant to the provisions of the Law on Establishment and settlement of internal debt of the Republic of Srpska („Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska“, no. 63/04, 47/06, 68/07, 64/08 and 34/09), instructed Đ.G. to exercise his rights, on the basis of debt settlement, by issuing bonds with a maturity of 15 years.
Dissatisfied with this compensation, Đ. G. represented by his proxy, filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on May 17th 2011, in this legal matter, found a violation of the right to property guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The appellant’s right to collect receivables from the Republic of Srpska in cash was recognized, and he was awarded legal costs in the amount of 1.000,00 Euros. In accordance with this decision, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Srpska in January 2012 paid the owed amount in full, along with the associated legal interest.
Based on the Decision of the Summary Offence Department of the Primary Court in Bijeljina, no. 80 1 Pr 003700 11 Pr dated 18 May 2011 (hereinafter: first-instance decision), the defendant Dunav osiguranje a.d. Banja Luka, Business Unit Zvornik (hereinafter: Dunav osiguranje) and Saša Čudić, M.A., were charged for misdemeanor referred to in Article 76, paragraph 1 of the Law on Fiscal Registers and were fined in the amount of 2.000,00 KM (Dunav osiguranje) and 500,00 KM (Saša Čudić, M.A.). Acting as per the appeals filed by Dunav osiguranje, represented by the attorney-at-law Predrag Baroš M.A. and Saša Čudić, M.A., the District Court in Bijeljina changed the first-instance decision and terminated the misdemeanor proceedings against the defendant.
Co-ownership of property by more than one person is something that happens very frequently (especially in the Land-Registry Department of the Primary Court in Banja Luka). Calculation of an ideal part (when a co-owner sells a part of his co-owned property) can be very complicated. As with the introduction of notary service, legal transactions that involve transfer or acquisition of ownership, or other property rights on real estate were categorized as legal transactions that require obligatory notarization of documents, In order for a notary to be able to provide appropriate legal counsel, he or she should be able to identify the problem, that is to say, the need to calculate the ideal part. To successfully make the contract of transfer of ownership rights on real property the notary should certainly be familiar with the method of calculating ideal parts. Besides the notaries, lawyers, as well as other providers of legal services, often find themselves in a situation where they have to calculate the ideal parts.
However, the manual calculation of ideal parts is a complicated process, and hence time-consuming. If a purchase agreement is involved, after an appropriate ideal part of the buyer is arrived at, it is necessary to calculate the ideal part that remains for the seller following the sale and then the accuracy of the obtained result should be checked. Even the smallest mistake can revert the started computational operation back to the beginning!
Being aware of the practical problems traditionally present in the process of calculation of ideal parts, Predrag Baros, M.A, Nenad Baros, M.A., Vojislav Timarac M.A. and Boris Todorovic M.A. developed software under the title “Ideal Part Calculator”, which contains a multitude of options for the calculation of ideal parts and which, if an appropriate algorithm is used, always results in requested fractions (ideal parts). The calculator has been in use for a certain time on a daily basis. If you need to calculate ideal parts, you can use the advantages of the Calculator free of charge on website: www.poslovnisavjetnik.net.
We should mention that the Ideal Part Calculator took part in the competition for the best business idea. This was organized by the Republic of Srpska Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises as part of the global week of entrepreneurship. In strong competition it won the first place for the best business idea in the Republic of Srpska, and was awarded high grades for product usefulness, simplicity of use and the speed of calculation of ideal parts.
On 24 July 2009, Predrag Baroš MA submitted to the Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court an initiative for starting the procedure of constitutional review of the provision of Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Notary Act in force in the Republic of Srpska („RS Official Gazette“, nos. 86/04, 2/05, 74/05, 91/06 and 37/07). The initiative was filed under no. U-43/09.
As it is evident from the provisions of the Notary Act that govern the selection of the notary, the notary has a decisive influence on the selection of a notary assistant. Given that the notary service is a public service, the Republic of Srpska Constitution guarantees, in Article 33, equal possibilities to all citizens for admission to a public service, The justifiability of the contested Article 6 paragraph 1 of the Notary Act becomes questionable.
In its consideration of the above-mentioned initiative, in the session held on 10 September 2009, the Board for Constitutional Matters of the Republic of Srpska National Assembly, assessed that the grounds existed for amendments to the Notary Act. Namely, the Board deemed that the existing legal solution left room for the possible violation of rights of the citizens guaranteed by provisions of Articles 33 and 39, paragraph 3 of the Republic of Srpska Constitution. Therefore, the Board proposed to the Republic of Srpska National Assembly to charge the Republic of Srpska Government with a task to submit to the National Assembly, within a set deadline, a bill of the Law on Amendments to Notary Act. Following its adoption of the bill, the Republic of Srpska National Assembly, during the continued 37th session on 13 May 2010, adopted the bill of the Law on Amendments to Notary Act. Article 1 of the adopted bill of the Law on Amendments to the Notary Act amended Article 6 of the Notary Act so that it reads: „A person who worked, after passing the bar examination, in the sense of Article 20, item 4 of the Notary Act, during the minimum period of five years on the professional tasks, is eligible for taking the notary examination.“. Therefore, based on the amendments to the Notary Act, all interested candidates are eligible for taking the notary exam on equal conditions, and hence have the same rights concerning their admission to the notary service as a public service. The adopted legal changes were published on 4 June 2010.
The author of the Initiative believes that the said legal amendments provide an appropriate solution for taking the notary examination, For example, by stipulating the condition of obligatory 5 years of work experience in the profession after passing the bar examination or the condition of Article 6 paragraph 2 of the amended legal solution that had to be fulfilled by the candidates who sat for a notary exam in the Republic of Srpska before.
The Notary Act that is in force in BiH Federation („BiH Federation Official Gazette“, no. 45/02) also contains a discriminatory provision that was amended in the Republic of Srpska. Therefore, appropriate amendments to the Notary Act should also be applied in BiH Federation, in the part that governs eligibility for taking the notary exam. If the stated amendments were not to happen in the foreseeable time, the candidates from BiH Federation still have a possibility to take the notary exam in the Republic of Srpska. As a result, the provision of the Notary Act applied in BiH Federation, that denies equal rights for taking the notary exam for everyone, loses importance. Nevertheless, we believe that the candidates from BiH Federation should still be given equal access to taking the notary exam in BiH Federation too, and not only in the Republic of Srpska!
On 11 May 2010, Predrag Baroš, M.A.Law, submitted to the Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court an Initiative for Starting a Procedure for Assessment of Constitutionality and Legality of Tariff no. 20, i.e. Tariff for Determining the Remuneration and Fees for Notaries in the Republic of Srpska (hereinafter referred to as: Notary Fee), which is a part of the Decree on Determining the Remuneration and Fees of the Notaries in the Republic of Srpska (hereinafter: RS Government Decree – „RS Official Gazette“, no. 21/08). The motion was filed under protocol no. U-35/10. Namely, according to the provision of Article 5, paragraph 2 of the RS Government Decree, a party is required to reimburse the notary for the expenses of PTT services, forms, bank commissions, including the fees of trustee account, photocopying the documents and other fees that are charged in their real amount. Having said, that, the tariff no. 20 of Notary Fee sets forth that for providing the original copies, certified transcripts (exemplifications) and transcripts of the notary original, as well as of certified transcripts of other documents, and for making photocopies and transcripts of other documents, the fee shall amount to 1 point for each page (0,585 KM, VAT inclusive, which is 17% of the price). According to the provision of Article 3 of the RS Government Decree, in performing his/her notary activity, a notary is obliged to act in a manner which is in the best economic interest of a party, unless the party, following the notary’s warning, asks the notary to do otherwise. Therefore, it is evident that according to the RS Government Decree the client is required to reimburse the expenses of photocopying in their full amount, and, according to the Notary Fee, the notary is still entitled to the reimbursement of photocopying expenses at the level of 1 point (0,585 KM, VAT included) per page, which by far exceeds the real expenses, that is to say, it is clear that the RS Government Decree and the Notary Fee are in contradiction when it comes to the expenses of photocopying of documentation!
Expenses of photocopying are an important part of the bill issued by the notary for the services provided and have a big influence on the price of notary services. During notarization, the notary provides the original and issues notary copies and exemplifications of notarized documents. However, in practice, there are different interpretations regarding whether the original copy should contain all the enclosures like the original? The original often contains a lot of enclosures, especially when the procedure of notarization includes legal entities. The notary often issues 5, 6 or more original copies or transcripts, so that adding enclosures to every original copy or transcript, besides representing an additional burden of technical nature, has a big influence on the price of notary service. The notaries in the Republic of Srpska mainly issue original copies and transcripts along with the enclosures that are a part of the original. When doing that, the photocopies are attached to the original copy and transcript, and the notaries insist that such photocopies be made on the photocopy machine in the notary office. A big number of photocopies produced during notarization, charged according to tariff no. 20 of Notary Fees, along with computed VAT, results in enormously high expenses of photocopying. The participants in the process of notarization (citizens of the Republic of Srpska and business entities) have to spend those funds, by the force of the law, as they do not have other choice!
The Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court, in its Decision no. U-35/10 dated 31 January 2011, did not accept the Initiative for Starting the Procedure of Assessment of Constitutionality and Legality of Tariff no. 20 of Notary Fees, with an explanation that such a request does not fall in the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, laid down in Article 115 of the Republic of Srpska Constitution, as it is not within the competence of the Constitutional Court to assess justification of the level of the fee or compensation of the notary, as this issue falls within the field of purposefulness. If the Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court was asked to assess constitutionality and legality of remuneration earned by the notary for notarization of a certain document, i.e. for certain intellectual work, then this would really involve an issue that falls within the domain of purposefulness, i.e. whether that particular service is too expensive or not? However, as this particular case involves paying for expenses, is there a reasonable explanation for the fact that the expenses of photocopying of documents on the copy machine in notary office are almost 12 times higher compared to photocopying expenses of the same documentation in the local copy shop, and is it justified that copying of documents in the notary office mostly account for 10 – 12% of total price of notary service? Therefore, given the fact that this concerns the expenses of copying documentation and that it is relatively easy (by comparing the price with the price in local copy shop) to determine the actual level of those expenses, the author of the Initiative deems that the concerned issue does not fall within the domain of purposefulness, that is to say, whether something is expensive or not. The contested issue obviously has to do with disagreement of the Notary Fee and the RS Decree on Notaries’ Work and the tariff no. 20 of Notary Fee, which is in contravention with the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska, Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Although the Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court did not accept the Initiative, assessing that it was not within its competence to make that decision, the Initiative was forwarded to the Republic of Srpska Government, as an author of the contested enactment, for reply. In its reply to the Initiative, the Republic of Srpska Government suggested that the Initiative should not be accepted by the Constitutional Court, however, the Republic of Srpska minister of justice issued the Rulebook on the Work of Notaries in the Process of Constituting and Issuing Notary Documents („The RS Official Gazette“, no. 43/11 dated 19 April 2011 – hereinafter referred to as: the Rulebook), by coming into force of which the Rulebook on Work of the Notaries („RS Official Gazette“, nos. 7/05 and 16/08) was no longer valid, and which partly eliminates the practical problems addressed in the Initiative, i.e. excessively high expenses of photocopying of documentation in the process of notarization of documents. Provision of Article 11, paragraph 2 of the Rulebook lays down that the notary issues the original copy along with the enclosures that are necessary for the registration in the public register. At the request of the party, the original copy may be issued with all the enclosures or without any enclosures (Article 11, paragraph 3). Unlike the established practice in the Republic of Srpska according to which the notaries issued the original copies and the transcript of the original of notarized documents, along with the photocopy of all the documents that constitute the enclosure (hence the big number of photocopies in the process of notarization of documents), the quoted provisions of the Rulebook give an option to the party to request issuing of the original copy without enclosures. Consequently, the suggested solution should mitigate the harmful consequences of Tariff no. 20 of Notary Fee (significantly fewer photocopies in the process of notarization of documents)! Although the Republic of Srpska Constitutional Court did not accept the Initiative for Starting the Procedure of Assessment of Constitutionality and Legality of Tariff no. 20 of Notary Fee, the purpose of submission of the Initiative, reflected in the protection of interest of the parties participating in the process of notarization, in reference to unjustified high expenses of photocopying of documentation being notarized, was partly accomplished through the decisions adopted in the Rulebook (fewer photocopies – limited application of tariff no. 20)!